History of the Monster Jam World Finals V
By Monster Jam Media
Feb 29, 2012

World Finals V, March 20, 2004 – FINALLY! The Icon Grabs The Racing Gold

Racing Champion – Dennis Anderson, Grave Digger
Freestyle Champion – (Tie) Lupe Soza, El Toro Loco; Madusa, Madusa; Tom Meents, Maximum Destruction

Racing Semifinalists: Grave Digger (Anderson), Blacksmith (Pablo Huffaker), Bounty Hunter (Jimmy Creten), Maximum Destruction (Meents)

Top 5 Freestyle Scores: El Toro Loco (Soza) 31, Madusa (Madusa) 31, Maximum Destruction (Meents) 31, Grave Digger (Anderson) 30, King Krunch (David Smith) 27

To this day, the most emotional night in the sport’s history as Dennis Anderson overcame his years of racing frustration in Las Vegas to claim his first World Racing Championship. In the first four World Finals racing brackets Grave Digger had never advanced past the second round, so it may have surprised some that Anderson arrived for WF5 full of confidence. “I’ve just got a really good feeling this year” Anderson said during the Built Ford Tough Party in the Pits. “I want to hit the jackpot here in Vegas.” And hit the jackpot he did! In qualifying the big boys were on their game: Maximum Destruction turned the fastest time, Grave Digger was 2nd fastest and Bounty Hunter was 3rd, which created maybe the most balanced race bracket ever at the finals.

Probably the biggest win for Anderson’s confidence came in that treacherous round two, which had been his downfall in the past. This time, though, he convincingly eliminated consistent David Smith in King Krunch to move to his first World Finals semifinal round ever, and he just kept rolling. Talk about the cream rising to the top. The semifinal round showcased four of the sport’s greatest racers: Anderson, Meents, Creten, and Huffaker. Pablo helped his Team Grave Digger buddy Anderson out when he edged Max-D by a half truck length after Dennis eliminated Bounty Hunter. Making the World Championship race for the first time ever Dennis took full advantage, edging his friend and teammate Huffaker, Grave Digger defeating Blacksmith as Anderson won his first world racing title.

The celebration on the track will still put a tear in your eye and give you goose bumps when you watch it again, even all these years later. A tearful, choked up Anderson, being mobbed by his sons, Adam and Ryan, along with his entire team, thanking his fans for their 22 years of support in a Monster Jam moment for the ages. The only other moment in any form of motorsports that I can compare this to was when the great Dale Earnhardt Sr. finally won the Daytona 500 and every crew member from every team lined the pit road to salute “The Intimidator” as he drove to Victory Lane.

Still, Anderson had more work to do despite the euphoria of finally winning the World Racing Championship. Freestyle on this night would not be Anderson’s, but it was the tightest finish in history with Madusa, El Toro Loco, and Maximum Destruction finishing in a three-way tie for the title. The next year the USHRA added several levels of tie-breakers, assuring that 2005 will be the only year where there were multiple freestyle champions.